Katherine McCabe / Gavel Media

Diatribe: On Making a Plex Reservation

The Gavel's Diatribe acts as the satirical medium for short rants over topics ranging from complete triviality to utmost importance.

Feb. 13, 2021. Saturday night. My eyes flash to the clock. 12:05 a.m. Oh, no. *Camera zooms in.* Oh, no. *Zooms in some more.* Oh, nonononono.

I fling my slice of pizza into the hands of my nearest roommate and make a lunging dive for my phone at a speed previously unbeknownst to humankind. Why does my facial recognition always fail me in my weakest moments? Okay, focus. Safari. The tab is still open from last night, thank God. Campus Recreation. Building Reservations. Facility Access - Students. Don’t you DARE click on Facility Access - Staff. Absolutely not. Log in, log in, log in. It’s times like this that I especially appreciate Apple for storing every last tidbit of information about my life in its handy little bulletproof Cloud keychain. Luckily, I’m in time to reserve a spot for 10 a.m. on Tuesday. A sigh of relief, safe for another day. Back to my pizza.

12:06 a.m. Now that I’m on the other side of my nightly Everest, I refresh the page out of curiosity. No spots available. Seems the bots really hustled, Jesus Christ. This is pretty sad. 

The greatest challenge a Boston College student faces on any given day isn’t a paper or an exam. No, of course not, that would be too predictable. This year, it’s making a gym reservation (at least, if you ask university administration). Personally, I’m thankful to possess the planning skills that allow me to know at the stroke of midnight on a Saturday night exactly what time slot I’ll be free to work out during on Tuesday; the system caters directly to me.

9:45 a.m. on Tuesday. I roll up to the Plex, equipped with my armor of choice: a water bottle, two squishy wet socks from the stupidly large puddles on the sidewalks, and my Green Check™. Oh, good, the line is only to Gate B of Alumni; the system is proving particularly efficient today. By the time I get the “you’re all set” on my forehead temperature after standing in the glorious two degrees outside, I can’t feel any of my toes. But it’s okay, I push through, warmed by the fact that I took this spot from one of the thirty unassuming faculty members who got jostled off the roster. 

And once you’re in, the experience is nothing short of immaculate. “It’s like following the sheep to the slaughter. Except this beheading is an endless torment of waiting for a treadmill that seems to be occupied by Sisyphus and his boulder. Oh, and don’t forget to pull your mask up over your nose,” deadpanned a vacant-eyed Plex supervisor in the lobby before turning his attention back to the mysterious unknown chatter on his walkie-talkie. He declined to comment further.

If you’re worried, don’t fret. A true Boston College student knows two things: First, if you’re preoccupied for the all of five minutes that spots are available, there’s always the option of logging in 10 minutes before your desired time slot as those who lack the capacity to properly plan their schedules over 72 hours in advance (i.e. not me) cancel their bookings. And second, you can find a treadmill in the last half-hour at least 60% of the time. 

You see? It all works out in the end.

Amateur Bachelor critic, professional bruncher. 6’4 if it matters.